6 Jul 2009
A Wake Up Call
I woke up this morning feeling pretty miserable. To be truthful I was feeling sorry for myself; going over all the 'why am I so useless?', 'why can I never finish anything I start?', 'why can't I be who I want to be?' thoughts that come at me in the early hours.
Quite often I wake up with a feeling of fear that's amazingly strong; I lie there, trying to find the source of this fear, yet what I'm really trying to do is ignore the fact that I know the source. It's a fear of the future; a fear of growing old and a fear of the possibility that I will look back on my life in old age and think, 'Well, what was all that about. What did I really do to make my mark on the world?'
And I remember an exercise from a life coach that I once saw. You write your own obituary and in it you detail all the wonderful things you'd really like to do and be, as if you had done and been them. This obituary was then a game plan for the rest of your life; to work towards doing and being the person in that obituary.
Now, I think a lot of the tools that life coaches are taught to use are rather over-egged these days - there are just too many of them saying the same old things. But this one stuck in my mind as a useful way of reminding myself that I only have one life and it's going by ferociously fast and that I really do have to work at becoming more than I am if I'm to live up to my imaginary obituary.
This morning, I read a post by sbass at The Inkwell about the loss of her mother to lung cancer earlier this year which, devastating though it was and still is, has brought an additional dimension to her life which is, unexpectedly, a positive dimension.
It was a bit of a wake up call for me to be honest. I was lucky enough to survive cancer some years ago so what on earth have I got to be miserable about? If I'd been fearful for the future then I might have had justification, but now...?
So I'm taking an inventory of the things I want to do and then I'm going to go about doing them. The first one is to WRITE. I don't know whether I want to write short stories, a novel, fact or fiction, poetry or just a journal - all I know is that I've wanted to WRITE for years now but all I've actually done is to turn prevarication into a fine art. I've had the pens and pencils lined up on the desk, the special ink bottle ready, the absolutely nicest journal I can find ready to write in and what have I done? Nada; zilch; sweet sod all!
And what am I going to do about it? I'm going to sign up for the Open University course in Creative Writing that starts in October. I will then have to start WRITING. This time there'll be no escape - if I don't produce WRITING, I'll flunk it. If I don't WRITE my fellow students will know me for the quitter I am. Or rather for the quitter I was!